The Texas A&M University System was created by the Texas Legislature in 1948 to manage the evolution of a statewide educational, research and service system. Its roots lie in the founding of what are now Texas A&M University and Prairie View A&M University as land-grant colleges in 1876. Today, the Texas A&M System provides oversight and leadership for 11 universities and eight state agencies. Its role is governed by the state’s education code (Title 3, chiefly Ch. 51, Sec. 51.353 and Ch. 85, Sec. 85.17). Responsibilities include system-wide planning, coordination, and execution of the policies of The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents.
John Tarleton Agricultural College at Stephenville (now Tarleton State University) joined an earlier form of the A&M System in 1917. Tarleton State University-Central Texas, an upper-level institution offering bachelor’s and master’s degrees, was established in Killeen in 1999.
The Galveston Marine Laboratory joined with the Texas Maritime Academy in the 1960s to form Texas A&M University at Galveston, Texas A&M’s marine studies branch. Texas A&M University at Qatar was established in 2003 to bring engineering programs and research to the Gulf Region by establishing a branch campus in an area called Education City in Doha, Qatar. Education City is a 2,400-acre multi-university campus housing various American universities.
In 1989, the A&M System increased its presence in South Texas with the addition of Texas A&M International University (formerly Laredo State University) in Laredo, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi (formerly Corpus Christi State University) and Texas A&M University-Kingsville (formerly Texas A&I University). The Texas A&M University-Kingsville System Center-San Antonio, which offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees, was opened in 2000.
In 1990, West Texas State University in the Texas Panhandle city of Canyon joined the A&M System, changing its name to West Texas A&M University in 1993.
In 1996, three other institutions joined the A&M System: Baylor College of Dentistry in Dallas and two former East Texas State University campuses, now Texas A&M University-Commerce and Texas A&M University-Texarkana.
The Texas A&M Health Science Center, also established in 1999, has campuses in Bryan/College Station, Dallas, Temple, Houston, Round Rock, Kingsville, Corpus Christi, and McAllen. Its six colleges are the Baylor College of Dentistry, the College of Medicine, the College of Nursing, the School of Graduate Studies, the Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy and the School of Rural Public Health. Other units include the Institute of Biosciences and Technology and the Coastal Bend Health Education Center.
In 2009, Tarleton State University System Center-Central Texas became a standalone university, Texas A&M University-Central Texas. That same year, Texas A&M University-Kingsville System Center-San Antonio also became a standalone university, Texas A&M University-San Antonio.
Each of the members of the A&M System has its own mission, history and goals. The oldest institution and founding member of the A&M System is Texas A&M University, established in 1876. Many of the member universities and agencies joined the A&M System decades after being established. Together, they strive to provide educational programs, outreach and community enhancement services, as well as research that will improve the lives of people in Texas and beyond.
- More than one in five students in a public university in Texas is enrolled in an A&M System institution.
- Texas A&M consistently ranks in the forefront among public universities in Texas in retention rates—keeping students enrolled and on course for graduation both overall and for African-American and Hispanic students.
- A&M System students receive about $580 million in scholarships and grants annually.
- The A&M System awarded 36,346 degrees in FY 2018.
- The A&M System’s faculty includes recipients of the Nobel Prize, National Medal of Science, Pulitzer Prize, World Food Prize and the Wolf Prize, as well as members in the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering.
Total Texas A&M University System Enrollment
for Fall Semesters
The A&M System boasts 8 state agencies with missions ranging from research to protecting natural resources and communities.
Established by the Texas Legislature in 1887 under the federal Hatch Act, Texas A&M AgriLife Research (formerly the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station) continues to represent a unique state-federal partnership in agricultural research. Texas A&M AgriLife Extension (formerly the Texas Agricultural Extension Service) grew out of the agricultural initiatives of Texas A&M University under the provisions of the Smith-Lever Act of 1914, which provided for cooperative agricultural extension work between Texas land-grant colleges and the United States Department of Agriculture. Texas A&M Forest Service was established in 1914, as a way to provide resources to develop and protect the forested areas of Texas. Today, TFS is charged with conserving and protecting the resources and lands of the Lone Star State. Texas legislators created Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory during the regular session of the 60th Legislature, in 1967; the lab formally opened in College Station in 1969.
The Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station was also created in 1914 with a research and technology transfer mission for the field of engineering. Established five years later, the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service is dedicated to helping develop a highly skilled workforce through technical and vocational training. The Texas A&M Transportation Institute, created in 1950, conducts highway, safety, and other transportation-related research.
In 2019, the Texas Division of Emergency Management joined the A&M System as its eighth state agency. With roots in the civil defense programs established during World War II, TDEM is charged with carrying out a comprehensive all-hazard emergency management program for the State and for assisting cities, counties, and state agencies in planning and implementing their emergency management programs.
The Texas A&M University System executive committee provides the chancellor assessment, advice and recommendations on issues within the A&M System and the System Offices. The 16-member committee may also aid the Board of Regents in implementing and overseeing strategic plans and policies as they relate to the system.
Chief Executive Officers
The Texas A&M University System chief executive officers serve the chancellor and Board of Regents through their leadership in developing the overall strategic planning of the A&M System’s 11 universities and eight state agencies and ensuring their sustained performance to the maximum benefit of the state of Texas and the nation.
Agriculture and Life Sciences
Frequently Asked Questions
What is The Texas A&M University System?
When was the A&M System established?
The Texas A&M University System was officially established in 1948. The original members were Texas A&M University, Prairie View A&M University, Tarleton State University, Texas A&M Forest Service, Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station, Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service (formerly Texas Cooperative Extension) and Texas A&M AgriLife Research (formerly Texas Agricultural Experiment Station).
Today, the Texas A&M System provides oversight and leadership for 11 universities and eight state agencies. Its role is governed by the state’s education code (Title 3, chiefly Ch. 51, Sec. 51.353 and Ch. 85, Sec. 85.17). Responsibilities include system-wide planning, coordination and execution of the policies of The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents.
|University||Est.||Joined A&M System|
|Texas A&M University||1876||1876|
|Prairie View A&M University||1876||1973|
|Texas A&M University-Commerce||1889||1996|
|Tarleton State University||1899||1917|
|West Texas A&M University||1910||1990|
|Texas A&M University-Kingsville||1925||1989|
|Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi||1947||1989|
|Texas A&M International University||1970||1989|
|Texas A&M University-Texarkana||1971||1996|
|Texas A&M University-Central Texas||2009||1999|
|Texas A&M University-San Antonio||2009||2000|
What does “A” and “M” stand for?
Texas A&M, the state’s first public institution of higher education, was opened on Oct. 4, 1876, as the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas. Both Texas A&M and Prairie View A&M owe their origin to the Morrill Acts of 1862 and 1890, which established the nation’s land-grant college system. When Texas A&M gained university status in 1963, the “A&M” was incorporated into the official name in deference to the institution’s history and traditions, but the individual letters no longer explicitly stand for anything.
What is the mission of The Texas A&M University System?
The mission of The Texas A&M University System is to provide education, conduct research, commercialize technology, offer training, and deliver services for the people of Texas and beyond through its universities, state agencies and health science center.
The A&M System is the state’s land-grant system. What does that mean?
A land-grant college or university is an institution that has been designated by its state legislature or Congress to receive the benefits of the Morrill Acts of 1862 and 1890. The original mission of these institutions, as set forth in the first Morrill Act, was to teach agriculture, military tactics and the mechanical arts as well as classical studies so that members of the working classes could obtain a practical education.
The A&M System’s agencies, which conduct research and bring practical applications of research findings to the people of Texas, also came out of the land-grant system. There is now at least one land-grant institution in every state and territory of the United States, as well as in the District of Columbia.
How is the A&M System governed?
The A&M System is governed by a nine-member Board of Regents, appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Texas Senate for six-year terms. A nonvoting student member was added in 2006. The A&M System chancellor oversees the day-to-day administration, and each of the A&M System’s members has a president, CEO or director.
What does “upper-level institution” mean?
This means that the university offers courses only for junior and senior students (and perhaps graduate students). Students transfer to these institutions after completing their freshmen and sophomore years elsewhere. Texas A&M University-Central Texas is an upper-level institution.
What are the Permanent University Fund and Available University Fund?
The Permanent University Fund (PUF) is a public endowment contributing to the support of certain universities and agencies in the A&M System and certain universities in the University of Texas System. The PUF was established in the Texas Constitution of 1876. Today, the PUF includes over 2.1 million acres in 19 West Texas counties. Mineral income from this land has accumulated over several decades and the PUF was valued at approximately $17.9 billion as of Aug. 31, 2016. All mineral income and all increases in the value of equity investments from PUF capital gains become and remain an inviolate part of the endowment. The PUF’s 2.1 million acres of West Texas land produce two streams of income. Mineral income remains forever part of the PUF endowment and cannot be expended, but surface income (primarily grazing and surface leasing) flows directly into the Available University Fund (AUF). In addition, financial investments held in the PUF are utilized to provide a payout stream into the AUF. The annual distribution to the AUF is based on a percentage of the market value for the last 12 quarters ended each February. The A&M System may sell debt equal to 10 percent of the book value of the PUF. The indebtedness is secured by AUF income and among other factors is rated on the stability of the PUF, the quality of its investment management and other commitments of the AUF. The Texas constitution specifies allowable uses of the AUF to include debt service on PUF debt, and support and maintenance for the A&M System Offices, Texas A&M and Prairie View A&M. The following members of the A&M System benefit from PUF bond proceeds:
Texas A&M University
Texas A&M AgriLife Research
Texas A&M University at Galveston
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension
Prairie View A&M University
Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station
Tarleton State University
Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service
Texas A&M Health Science Center
Texas A&M Transportation Institute
Texas A&M University – Central Texas
Texas A&M Forest Service
Texas A&M University – San Antonio
Does the “top 10” rule for admission apply to all A&M System universities?
Yes. Those who graduate in the top 10 percent of their class from a Texas high school will gain admission into any of the A&M System’s nine universities.
Does the A&M System have a central admissions office?
No, students must directly contact preferred A&M System institution’s admission office. Information about these institutions can be found on the system’s website, www.tamus.edu.
Where can I find out about jobs in the A&M System?
View more information about the A&M System below, as well as resources from the A&M System Office of Marketing and Communications.